I was cleaning out in my studio this week, and ran across some old leaf journal projects that I did on a women's retreat several years ago. Looking at them brought back some wonderful memories. We were trying to connect with nature, and find a place for ourselves in this world. Leaves seemed to be the perfect solution, as it was fall in the Ozarks when we got together. We stayed in a cabin by a lake, and listened to the wind in the trees, the loons on the lake, and the geese heading south. For the top leaf, a sweet gum, I simply drew the leaf, trying to get to know it a bit.
The second leaf, a sycamore, was an experiment in getting the feel of the leaf. I did a rubbing of the leaf using good old Missouri dirt as my medium. I used my fingers and a stick to work the dirt into the thin vellum paper. I was able to feel each vein, and get to really know how it grew to such a large size.
This shingle oak leaf was covered in funny growths and distortions, making me think of the end of it's life. I used watercolor to render it, and used a toothbrush to spray a bit of the mottling onto the leaf and background. I am amazed at what character comes out with each leaf on this earth!